Last Friday, we had the honor to host a meet & greet with one of the NBA’s rising stars in our KICKZ Tortrasse store in Berlin. Not any star though. Ladies and Gentlemen, standing at a towering 7′ 3″, born in Latvia, number 6, from the New York Knicks, the Unicorn, the Porzingod, the one and only Kristaps Porzingis!
As part of the AS1 Summer League which took place on Saturday at Alba Berlin’s outdoor courts, Porzingis was staying in Berlin for the weekend and gave his fans a chance to meet him up close and personal in our store. Fans from all over Germany came to see their idol. And they would not be disappointed…
So with everyone anxiously waiting for the Porzingod to arrive and after the obligatory 60 minute delay, the basketball giant finally arrived. Before the meet & greet for the fans, it was our turn to sit down and talk to Kristaps 1 on 1. Here’s what he had to say:
Me: For people new to basketball events like the AS1 are a good way to soak in the streetball and basketball culture. What do you like most about events like this?
KP: I mean I’m a big fan of streetball myself. Before I started playing professionally, I was playing streetball every summer. We had events every other weekend and I really enjoyed it. It’s a different style. You are out there, it’s 3 on 3, one basketball, one hoop and it’s not as organized. And I think that’s where the beauty of the game comes from. It’s just free basketball and you are able to create anything, it’s just so creative and so open and that’s what I love about it.
Would you say playing streetball can improve your basketball skills compared to regular basketball?
I think so, because it’s much more 1 on 1. Two guys going at each other, that’s what people love, that’s the beauty of the game and I’m a big fan of that.
So streetball helped you develop too?
Definintely! I mean anybody who loves basketball loves playing on whatever court, inside or outside, and streetball is a part of that –That’s where the culture comes from… – Exactly!
Talking about style. What do you like to wear off the court, what defines your style?
I like to keep it simple. If it’s a game, my range of what I can wear is pretty wide… I could be wearing track suits, street clothes or I could be wearing a suit if I feel like that one day. I have an open mind and whatever I feel like after my pre-game nap, that’s what I’ll be rocking that day.
Do you remember the last thing you bought?
Actually, I just bought a car. A 2008 BMW M3. It’s like a little toy for me. I like to just have fun with it.
What’s your favorite sneaker? Would you consider yourself a sneakerhead?
I wouldn’t say I’m a sneakerhead, no. I like comfortable shoes. I like simple stuff. I like clean stuff. White, black, simple colors that look good with jeans, that look good with track suits, anything. But my favorite shoe I would say is the first version of the Yeezy. I love them! They are super comfortable, loose and just really nice. Another one would be the Ultraboost, which is also super comfortable and clean, but there are really a lot of shoes that I like.
Speaking of shoes, you already had some PEs with your name and number on them, but are there any plans on having your own signature shoe in the future?
There might be in the future… But right now, I’m just focused on getting back on the court and keep playing and enjoying the game. Once I’m back in action though, then I’ll believe that it’s a possibility in the future! – I’m looking forward to it!
One last question, what kind of music do you like?
I listen to a lot of music. Lately, I’ve been listening to a lot of Spanish Trap, because I speak Spanish as I was living there for 5 years and I’m a big fan. Obviously rap and hip-hop too, some trap, even house music, I listen to anything!
Name three albums that are on your phone right now!
Obviously Drake – Scorpion… I just listened to Future’s new mixtape and also J Balvin had a new album that I’ve been listening to a lot.
Thanks man, I have to check out those last two!
After this super pleasant and easy talk with Kristaps, we took his handprint for our archives and then the fans could finally meet their idol! From kids to grown-ups, male and female, Knicks fans to Bulls fans, people were ecstatic to see the Porzingod live in the flesh. I mean, in addition to his basketball skills, it’s not often that you see someone like him, a human being who is 2 meters and 21 centimeters tall. A true giant! The first people came in and it was all smiles. Fascinating how grown men turn into little kids when they meet their favorite basketball player… And Kristaps Porzingis made this short moment with him an unforgettable one indeed. He gave the fans what they wanted and really took his time to pose for pictures, sign fan merchandise and answer questions. The Porzingod is for the people! Check out our gallery below to see some of the best shots:
On Saturday, it was time for some action! The AS1 took place at Friedrich-Jahn Sportplatz, Alba Berlin’s brand new outdoor facility. 4 on 4 full-court action was on the menu and the players did not disappoint. Our own team, the Nation of Hoop, came up short unfortunately and lost in the semis, but Brian Butler created his very own highlight tape throughout the course of the day and was dunking all over people with no regard for human life! Congrats to Team Thabo though for the win and the 2500 € prize money!
KP also showed up and took in some of the action and was a judge in the Slam Dunk Contest which featured Lipek and Miller from the world-famous Dunk Elite. Miller took home the crown and put the exclamation mark on a day full of street ball action. Make sure to come thru for our SHUTUPANDPLAY tournament which will also be held at the Friedrich-Jahn Sportplatz from July 27 to July 29! Be there or be square!